Monday, February 1, 2010

10 comments MMQB Review: The Dead Week Edition

This is the first Monday in a few months there wasn't football the weekend before of some kind. Yes, I don't include the Pro Bowl as "football" because of all the all-star games in all of the major sports, and I am including hockey in there, it's the most pointless. Basketball is at least a little fun to watch when the players don't give a shit. So what does Peter talk about today? Is he going to have an entire column with his aggravating travel notes, will he recommend some different coffees to his readers, or will he finally acknowledge there was an AFC Championship Game last week? Did I think there would come a day when Peter would ignore the Jets and the Colts playing in a big game? No, I didn't...but he did. (Interesting thought: Why doesn't the NFL just play the AFC and NFC Championship Games on different days? Like Saturday or Sunday? I feel rushed on AFC/NFC Championship Sunday having two important games just minutes apart.)

Let's just say we know it was a slower NFL news week when an unconfirmed injury leads of MMQB.

We've got ourselves a story. When the Indianapolis Colts take the practice field Wednesday, everyone who follows the NFL will be interested in learning if Dwight Freeney will be in any kind of shape to play in Super Bowl 44 Sunday against New Orleans.

(cue dramatic music: Dum-dum-dum-dum)

This is a classic staredown between two camps that have a history of lying. Do we believe ESPN and Adam Schefter, who works for ESPN and part of the job responsibility when working for them is to get stories incorrect from time-to-time? Or do we believe the Colts, who have every reason in the world to lie about Freeney's health in order to keep the competitive advantage of making the Saints think he will be out there?

The Colts Sunday night described Freeney's right-ankle injury as a low-ankle sprain. ESPN described it as a serious injury that could keep the standout defensive end out of the Super Bowl, an injury that includes torn ankle ligaments.

As important as this injury is to the Colts, it really doesn't matter to non-Colts fans. All Freeney's injury does to the rest of the world is make it harder to predict who is going to win this game. Also, the Colts described it as a third-degree ankle sprain, which is apparently torn ligaments, or so says ESPN.

If the injury is a Grade 3 ligament injury, sports-injury expert Will Carroll says it means there are ligaments in Freeney's ankle that are more than 50 percent torn. How quickly they can heal after being hurt near the end of the AFC Championship Game ... well, the answer is, not quickly enough, most likely. This is all conjecture now, but I'd expect Freeney will do everything he can to play, and will try to play.

I don't know Peter, are you sure Dwight Freeney is going to do everything he can to play in the Super Bowl? I thought he may take this week off and see if he could make it back for the 5th annual Freeney Family Barbeque in a couple of weeks to play in the flag football game with his relatives. As much as bragging rights are won in these hard fought contests.

I surveyed the AFC locker room last night after the Pro Bowl to see how much of a factor the loss of Freeney would be. The answers were predictable. "This is huge for the Saints if he can't play,'' Ray Lewis said. "Freeney's one of the biggest difference-makers in the league.''

Thanks Ray. I am glad Peter King went to the most analytical and intuitive minds around NFL football, the players themselves, to find out how important the loss of Dwight Freeney would be. Anytime I need to hear a cliche or hyperbole, I know I can count on an NFL player to do that for me. Peter also notes that the answers were "predictable." So the point of this exercise was...?

Here is a little note to Peter King: If you can't figure out how important Dwight Freeney is to the Colts or how big of a loss to the Colts Freeney's injury is, perhaps you are in the wrong profession or need to pay more attention. Really, Peter has to ASK someone how much of a factor not having Freeney on the field would be for the Colts? He can't figure this out for himself? If it was so obvious, why did he ask?

I guess I'm the lucky one; I'm the Pro Football Writers Association's AFC pool reporter, assigned to watch Colts practices and write a daily report for the assembled media on their activities.

I like how Peter slipped that little honor he received in there on us.

"Oh by the way, I am not sure if you heard or not, or have any information about this...but I am pretty fucking important and people know me in the world of the NFL. You are lucky I am even writing this column write now. I should be fondling strippers and doing cocaine off the ass of a hooker because that's what people of my stature do. Care for some cotton candy?"

To those who say defense is an equal part of the game, I say, Why have only seven of the 460-some overtime coin-flip winners in NFL history chosen to play defense first if it's such an equal part of the game?

Because the point of overtime is to score points and most teams find it easier to score points when they are on offense. No one is really saying in overtime defense is an equal part of the game, though that could be argued, it has just been said that playing defense is part of an NFL game as well. So theoretically, the defense of a team should be able to stop the other team's offense in overtime.

This morning I've enlisted former Naval pilot Brian Burke, founder of the site Advance NFL Stats, to make a case about why he thinks the overtime rule should be changed.

Over the past decade, there were 158 overtime games, including the playoffs. There were two ties, and there was one game in which the coin flip winner chose to defend a side of the field rather than choosing to receive. (The Lions in 2002. They lost.) In 96 of the 158 overtimes, or 61 percent, the coin flip winner won the game. And in 58 of the 158 OTs, or 37 percent, the coin flip winner won on their first possession while the loser never touched the ball.

First, a quick and easy improvement would be to restore the kickoff line to the 35 for the overtime kickoff. This would essentially cause lots of touchbacks, forcing the offense of the coin-flip winner to start on the 20, instead of the 30 or so. It sounds like a small difference, but teams with first downs at their own 20 are no more likely to score next than the team currently on defense.

What? That's no fun. A quick and easy improvement? What will all the football sportswriters do when it comes time to write about the NFL overtime? Where are all the convoluted and overly difficult overtime suggestions going to go?

How about there are no kickoffs in overtime and the offense starts at the 20 yard line? I bet we won't hear bitching about the absence of special teams from people who last week who complained about the Vikings full team not deciding the overtime. Those people probably don't count special teams as part of an actual football team.

How about the coin flip is decided at the beginning of the game and the ball starts at the 20 yard line? Is this too easy?

By just getting past a team's own 30-yard line, the team on offense now has a 60 percent chance of scoring next -- exactly the odds we see in the current OT format. Moving the kickoff spot back to the 35 would give both the coin flip winner and loser about an equal chance of winning.

The NFL would never adopt this. It's too easy. Assuming these numbers are accurate, making this adjustment makes sense. I don't even care if there is a kickoff at all, I just want everyone to quit whining about the overtime system.

My feeling is it'll take a one-possession game in the Super Bowl to get any real sentiment to change.

Fortunately, Peter is wrong about things, so maybe he is wrong about this.

One more thing: I knew the winner of the coin clip in New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game would win the game on the first possession. In the stadium, you could just feel it. It was a rock-'em, sock-'em-robot kind of game, and the two teams were absolutely spent by the end of regulation.

Of course Peter knew this. He probably also "knew" this during the Arizona-Green Bay game in the playoffs a few weeks ago and it didn't exactly happen the way everyone thought it would. The Cardinals defense actually made a stop and won the game WITHOUT THE CARDINALS OFFENSE EVERY TOUCHING THE BALL! Amazing! Defense CAN win games in overtime.

You know with all my bitching about overtime, at some point my favorite team is going to lose an important game in overtime and I am going to have to quietly steam. It's going to suck and I am going to blame it on missed calls instead of the actual overtime. Actually, this what I don't get...everyone is so focused on how the NFL overtime was unfair to the Vikings. I think everyone should be focused on the bad pass interference call and questionable catch that was ruled as a catch in overtime. If I were a sportswriter, I would see those two calls had a lot to do with the Saints loss as well.

"I think both Brett [Favre] and Percy [Harvin] were finished by halftime,'' one Viking told me. And the defenses were dragging to the finish line.

Brett Favre. Peter King has mentioned Brett Favre in every MMQB dating back to at least December 2008. Every. Single. Week...he has mentioned something about Brett Favre. I wonder what Deanna and Breleigh thought about their dad getting tired during the game? Isn't there someone who can find this out and quote them? What does little Breleigh think about her daddy being tired? I need to know this!!!

Brett Favre is 40 years old. Him getting tired at the end of a season is a risk you take by having him on the team. Percy Harvin is a rookie who isn't used to playing this long of a season. A rookie hitting a wall at the end of a year is a risk you take by having him on the team. Sympathy denied.

The five things I consider particularly amazing about the Kurt Warner Story:

1. It's the most amazing story in football in a half-century. I don't say that lightly.

Yes you do Peter. You do say this lightly.

Warner, an undrafted free-agent in Packers camp in 1994, was cut by Green Bay and went to work for $5.50 an hour stocking shelves in a Cedar Falls, Iowa, grocery store.

I like Kurt Warner and I thought he did a great job of retiring (it's sad I have to say that these days), but what I find amazing is that Kurt Warner had no fallback job other than stocking shelves in a grocery store. I don't really find this amazing, but more depressing. Did he not care to use his college degree or did he not acquire a skill set to do something else to support his family? This has bothered me for over a decade now.

3. As quickly as he came, he just as quickly vanished. From 2002 to 2006, a five-year window, he was brittle and seemed to fall to earth. With the Giants and Cards, he seemed to settle into a nice little backup role. But inside he seethed and wouldn't accept being relegated to second-string. I call it the five-year Donut Hole in the middle of his career.

Obviously Peter would have a food-related description for this part of Warner's career. Really, why wouldn't he?

Warning. I am going to be an asshole now: Isn't it weird how these older quarterbacks are doing so well later in their career now? We have Favre and Warner playing well into their 40's and upper 30's. If they were baseball players, what would we all think the reasoning for this could be? (Steroids) Why don't we think that about these players? (We are still naive) Think about it. Warner had a ton of injuries, disappeared and then as he was getting older, his numbers actually seemed to trend back towards how good they were when he was younger. If this were a baseball player, we would all believe this guy was on PEDs.

Brett Favre is the same way. He is 40 years and old just went 18 games with little dropoff in production. We attribute it to their "toughness" just like we attributed McGwire and Sosa's home run hitting to their "weight room work ethic." I am not accusing Favre or Warner of not being clean, I just find it interesting we don't really suspect them of anything. It could be due to the drug policy the NFL has for the reason no one suspects them, but for baseball players we are so vigilant, yet in football where are the players are huge, we don't suspect a thing. If anything football players have shown themselves to be more willing to sacrifice their bodies to play their sport than any other athlete in any sport (except hockey). Is it impossible to think a player may take something to prolong his career and get another guaranteed contract?

"What was perfect for me was that Mike [Martz] drew the game up exactly the way I always wanted to play football -- with a lot of quick decisions to be made. He wanted to play decisively, not be afraid to make decisions and live with them. And I had the great toys at my disposal in that offense. I played exactly the way the offense was drawn up by Mike. It was a perfect marriage.''

I don't want to demean Warner's Hall of Fame chances but he only played quarterback really well when he had Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Marshall Faulk, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald on his team. Basically, if you surrounded Warner with Hall of Fame talent he could elevate his game another level. I don't know if this makes him a Hall of Fame quarterback or not in my mind.

"No question I was skeptical I'd get the job,'' Warner said. "I'd heard it before -- the best man will win -- but sometime it hadn't happened. Here, I knew without a doubt I was the best man for the job. That's not a cut on Matt [Leinart]. And it wasn't a cut on Eli [Manning] when I was with the Giants. But I felt like there were times in my career where it didn't matter what I did, I wasn't going to get the job.

(playing violins for Warner in a sorrowful manner)

Yeah Kurt, at the time and even in retrospect, the Giants were right to start the #1 pick of the NFL Draft over you in New York with the Giants. Playing Manning as much as possible was the right thing to do for the Giants.

He was a meteor across the NFL sky. Twice.

"A meteor across the NFL sky?" I don't even know what to say to this analogy Peter just submitted. Ok I do. It's sort of stupid.

Ten years and one week ago, Warner made the throw he'll always remember. Taking you inside the three plays that will never leave him:

2. Jan. 30, 2000, Super Bowl. Rams 23, Titans 16. Rams up 16-0. Titans score 16 unanswered points. Two minutes left. Warner rears back and fires a bomb, perfectly placed into Isaac Bruce's hands, up the right sideline, for a 73-yard touchdown.

Hmmm. This may be some revisionist history a little bit. It sounds like Warner threw a great pass and Bruce didn't do much. Here is how I remember it.

Kurt Warner rears back and underthrows Isaac Bruce who adjusts well to the pass, catches it, and then makes a move left to get past the Titans defender and outruns the defenders to the end zone. I think that play was more Bruce making a great play than Warner doing anything too special. There wasn't really a "bomb" and it wasn't exactly "perfectly placed" without Bruce's adjustment to the ball.

5. San Diego (13-4). Philip Rivers missed this game because of the birth of his fifth child. Makes population explosion seem worthwhile.

Congratulations Philip Rivers, you have received approval from Peter King to have another child with your wife! I do fail to see why this makes population explosion worthwhile. It's not like we need more Philip Rivers' in the world or anything, nor does it make sense why he is so important as to make population explosion seem worthwhile. I can't figure out Peter King, so I better not try.

7. Arizona (11-7). Good piece Friday by Don Banks on about Matt Leinart, making the point that Leinart isn't a lost cause. I'd forgotten he was competent as a rookie, completing 60 percent of his throws in five of his last six games.

He's got weapons all around him. I think Matt Leinart is going to be fine in Arizona. It doesn't mean they may not draft a quarterback or sign a free agent quarterback, but I think Leinart will do a good job. He's been there for 4 years, he better know what he is doing by now.

8. Green Bay (11-6). I'll tell you the player the guys in the NFC practice sessions were most impressed with last week -- Aaron Rodgers.

Get the hell off my bandwagon Peter! You don't get near my Aaron Rodgers bandwagon with your coffee stained teeth and undying love for white quarterbacks with facial hair.

10. Philadelphia (11-6). Donovan McNabb, throwing into three of the wrong-colored jerseys on his first Pro Bowl series, looking very much like he looked in the last eight quarters of the year against Dallas.

I think McNabb should start for the Eagles next year, but I can't help but think about a quarterback for my favorite team who just started throwing to the wrong team and his team still hung with him causing the collapse of an entire half season. Possibly I am scarred and McNabb won't have this happen to him and I don't think it will, but I can't help but think this.

13. Carolina (8-8). I see where Julius Peppers' agent says he hasn't heard from the Panthers about a long-term deal. Where would talks for such a deal start -- $20-million a year? His contract is so stratospheric it's going to be impossible for anyone to pay him what he thinks he's worth after Peppers earned more than $18 million this year.

Three fun facts about Julius Peppers:

1. He played well this year but he was the reason the Panthers had special teams and defensive line problems early in the year. Because of his franchise tag, they couldn't sign their experienced special teams guys or a veteran defensive tackle.

2. He turned down a contract making him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL two years ago. What else does he want? I don't think neither he nor his agent knows.

3. He doesn't try hard every game. I have been killed by Panthers fans for suggesting this, but if you watch him, it's true. Some games he shows up, other games he doesn't, and he has been doing this for over 10 years now. He's from North Carolina, he went to UNC-CH, and he plays for the Panthers, which is the only reason he hasn't gotten more heat for this.

Kurt Warner, Colin Powell, Steve Forbes, Rudy Giuliani and Laura Bush will be featured at an all-day motivational speaking event, "GET MOTIVATED'', at the U.S Airways Center Thursday in Phoenix. "Send your entire office for only $159!'' the ad blares.

What if you are too lazy to sign up? Is there someone that can do that for potential attendees?

3. I think this is the luck of the Raiders: one injury Sunday night, and it was an undisclosed knee injury to Nnamdi Asomugha.

The Raiders don't have bad luck at all. They make bad personnel decisions so they create their own bad luck. If anything, it's karma or some other force of nature that has caused the one guy they got right coming out of the draft to get injured...they are being punished for not trading him to a better team and salvaging his career. If the Raiders stink this upcoming year, it won't be because of injuries.

4. I think this is the best unkept secret in the NFL: Roger Goodell told Rich Eisen of NFL Network last night that the uncapped year in 2010 is "virtually certain.'' With the deadline for a new agreement being March 5 (and I can tell you a new deal will be signed closer to March 5, 2012 than March 5, 2010),

I love the NFL and I will always watch the NFL. I think the NFL is also the most popular sport in the United States. But...if there is a lockout or any type of strike between the players and the owners, I don't think this will be good for the NFL. The last thing many people in the United States care about is two groups of millionaires squabbling over money, especially in a time when unemployment is in double digits. Even when unemployment has gone down and the United States is in better financial shape, I still think there won't be much of a stomach from fans for millionaires arguing with each other. People will think they and the rest of the country had to sacrifice for a period of time, so the problems of millionaires doesn't bother them. It's just a perception problem. The NFL may immediately regain it's popularity, but I still don't think a lockout is a good thing long-term for the sport.

5. I think I understand, and appreciate, the strident feelings on each side of the Tim Tebow argument. And I saw a good chunk of the Senior Bowl Saturday, and saw the same things you did. Tebow is noticeably slow in his mechanics and footwork. In his plodding performance, Tebow showed he'll need a redshirt year in the NFL to get his game up to speed with the rest of the league. "I think he needs to be stripped down completely, like a 12-year-old kid in Pop Warner, and rebuilt as a quarterback,'' said ESPN's Todd McShay, probably the harshest critic of Tebow.

Ladies and gentlemen, he may be a 1st round pick, yet he has all these questions about him. I may have more about this tomorrow, but I am firmly in Todd McShay's camp.

I was reading a good profile of Floyd Little by Mark Kiszla in the Denver Post last night and it hit home again how important it is to the men involved.

Little told Kiszla: "Do you know the average life expectancy of an NFL player? It's 58. And you're talking to a 67-year-old man. So I'm already on borrowed time. I don't have that many years left on this earth. I don't want to go in the Hall posthumously. No sir. That's not for me. I need to be alive to enjoy the celebration with family and friends. Forget posthumously. If I'm not here to enjoy it, give the honor to somebody who's still breathing."

Ah yes. Floyd Little is using the old, "I am going to die soon, so give a dying old man a thrill and vote him in the Hall of Fame while he is still alive" guilt trip. Usually this type guilt trip is followed by a minor coughing fit into a tissue if the guilt-er is doing it correctly.

8. I think these are a few thoughts about the Pro Bowl, which I will heap disdain on from now 'til the end of time:

The all-star games in major sports aren't generally that interesting. I know most people hate how the MLB All-Star game is tied to who gets homefield advantage in the World Series. I am not a huge fan, but I don't know of another way, outside of team record to decide this. Even though most people hate how baseball ties the World Series homefield advantage to the winner of the All-Star Game, it at least makes the game interesting to watch. Many other all-star games are boring to watch because the players either aren't trying or it is obvious no one really wants to be there. There is no defense in either the Pro Bowl or NBA All-Star Game. At least the MLB All-Star gives the viewer something that is still viewable as baseball to watch.

World Series homefield advantage aside, the MLB All-Star Game is still competitive and at least the players look like they are trying. That's why the MLB All-Star Game is the only all-star game I would consider watching for an extended period of time on television. I know I may be in the minority on that.

d. I am honored, touched, pleased and humbled by those of you who came up to me at the stadium last night and chatted with me about Monday Morning Quarterback and SI stories you recall fondly. Thanks. It means a lot to me.

Peter certainly sounds nice, but next time we see Peter King in public he will have a group of armed guards around him to prevent his fans from talking to him. This is a man who didn't have time to talk about the AFC Championship Game in his MMQB, so he doesn't have time to talk to everyone who reads his MMQB. That's like a thousand people or something.

Memo to Dolphins PR-meister Harvey Greene: That press box runs like clockwork, and you and the NFL had it all together Sunday night as you always do. But that coffee needs to be shot at sunrise. It tastes like three-year-old coffee thrice-Microwaved, the kind of coffee prisoners at Leavenworth would spit out, then follow with a complaint to their lawyer about cruel and unusual punishment.

Is there anything less endearing than someone who complains about free coffee? If you don't like the coffee, go buy a beer or go find better coffee. It's not like it is incredibly expensive. The coffee at my work tastes like ass but every morning I have a steaming mug of it, because it's free and fairly rude to bitch and moan about free coffee. Most individuals just accept free coffee, unless you have an overly healthy dose of self-importance about you and think the world is here to please you, so the free coffee must be top of the line free know, like Peter seems to think.

One more week until the Super Bowl and then that will be all the live football-related observations we can get from Peter for this year. Let's not act too sad about this, he will still have his off-season observations that are equally as worthy of being written about.


Martin said...

Well, ya know, he could have bought a 5 dollar coffee (or whatever the stadium charges) from a vendor, but Peter's too freaking cheap to do that.

I think the other writers voted for him to be the pool writer so that they didn't have to be, and could hang out in Miami having fun. He thinks it's an honor, and they are happy to not have his cheap bitch ass around.

Peter might ask himself why almost no team ever defends when winning the toss to start the game either. Of course his tiny brain can't think about that, it's still bitching about not getting Pete's or Starbucks for free at the Miami Pro Bowl.

As to the Viking who thought Favre hit the wall at halftime. Another example of why never ask an athlete a question they might have to think about. If one looks at Favres stats for the 2nd half, they are really pretty good...except the two interceptions. Lots of completions, both short and long yardage. If Favre throwing interceptions is part of hitting the wall, then he's hit the wall more then any other QB in history. Yet again, P King gives us a quote, and then doesn't do anything with it or place it in any context. He has to be the laziest writer out there. At least Gregg makes shit up and offers 2,000 word explanations for stuff, even though he's wrong.

As for Warner the stock boy, hey he was only 22 or 23, pretty much right out of college and football camp. As I remember, it was a job he took cause he was still able to work out and stuff during the day, and he was trying to figure out what he wanted to do if football didn't work out. Not like he was a 30-year old career minor leaguer at this point.

I still can't believe that the NFL is going to try and go down the NHL path of labor negotiations. It won't cripple the league like what happened with the NHL, but it will take a big hit I think. There was a great article about the new Yankee stadium and how sports have priced themselves beyond the means of casual fans. How in America, households making 75k a year or less have, right now, zero discretionary income, and so they aren't even trying to attend sporting events live. People spending $800 dollars a season on football tickets are sure going to reconsider that if there is a work stoppage. Good luck ever getting another city to pony up a penny when 750 million dollar franchises are crying poor after a lockout to grab more of the money pot from the players. This is going to be a fiasco.

Bengoodfella said...

Why would Peter pay for coffee? It's not like he should have to do that. He's important!

I like your theory about why the other writers voted him to be the AFC pool writer. You are probably right and they most likely had a bet that he would bring it up in his MMQB.

I don't know if Favre did hit the wall, I think Peter just put it in there to give another excuse for the crucial int. I thought Favre looked good in the 2nd half, of course I wasn't in the locker room, but the stats don't give an indication he was getting tired.

I was always under the impression that Warner took the stocking job when he was 26 and took the job AFTER he went to the arena league since that is the way the story always seemed to be told. My fault, but nowhere in Warner's story does anyone mention he stocked shelves a full 4 YEARS before he got to the NFL. I thought the timeline went:

Green Bay training camp
Arena League
NFL Europe
Stock shelves
St. Louis Rams

So my fault, I didn't do my research but I thought I understood the story by now. I hear people talking about how he stocked shelves before he was the Rams quarterback, I didn't know it was a full 4 years before. It ruins the story for me a little bit w/ such a long time lapse.

If the NFL goes on strike, I will still watch, but depending on what happens I don't know how attendance will go. It may not suffer, but I don't see the solution being a lockout. The average NFL fan is priced out of the market for tickets and I think a lockout would be more of a perception problem than an actual problem. But perception problems have hurt sports before and can do so again.

rich said...

You know why they'll never move the KO back? Because that'll change the way OT is played versus the other four quarters and as PK told us last week, the competition committee won't consider it then.

With the Giants and Cards, he seemed to settle into a nice little backup role.

He started for the Giants and then basically complained when they started Eli. He then left in the off-season to Arizona, who themselves had a very similar situation. So basically, he was the backup for what? half a season? Partially because he was hurt (and not playing well) and partially because the Giants had a young QB. I don't follow Arizona closely, but Warner probably started pretty early on.

I am honored, touched, pleased and humbled by those of you who came up to me at the stadium last night and chatted with me about Monday Morning Quarterback and SI stories you recall fondly.

Had I been there I would've pretended to be the kid who he tricked out of the HR ball and punched him in the face.

KBilly said...

Kurt Warner had a college degree and he couldn't even get a job as the grocery store night assistant manager. He was bagging groceries.

Never thought of it that way. Funny.

RuleBook said...

Rich, you are right about the Warner backup myth. I am ashamed of myself for not catching it.

From 2002-2006, the donut to which King refers, this is the number of starts Warner missed in each season.

2002: 10 (injured thumb on throwing hand in week 4)

2003: 15 (benched for Bulger after fumbling 6 times due to not fully healed thumb, Martz's lack of belief in pass protection, and Bulger's success)

2004: 7 (benched for Eli after Giants lost two straight to fall to 5-4: Eli proceeded to lose the next 6 games)

2005: 6 (replaced by Josh McCown for two separate stints due to injury)

2006: 11 (benched for Leinart after 1-3 start and declining performance)

The interesting point here is that Warner began all 5 of these seasons as the starter. The only season he didn't begin as the starter was 2007.

In none of these seasons did he play awful. In two of them, his starts missed were due to injury, and in the other three, the teams were looking for a reason to play their young stars.

KBilly said...

I am a HUGE Giants fan. Warner was benched in NYC because he was the reason the Giants were losing games. He was good for 2-3 fumbles a game.

Once the playoffs started looking out of reach, they figured that getting Eli some game experience in a lost season would pay dividends down the road. And it did.

Warner wasn't signed by the Giants to be the long-term answer. He was supposed to hold down the fort and help Eli along for a season. He did just that and I thank him for it.

Dylan Murphy said...


I'm a huge Giants fan also, and you are completely right. Warner only signed with the Giants because no one wanted a fumble prone QB with a thumb injury. Obviously he got over all that stuff to regain his greatness, but all this comeback story stuff is overrated. Warner took the same path as Garcia; backup for a year with the Eagles until a job opened up (the Bucs) the following season. Even though Warner started the season as the Giants starter, everyone knew he would be benched quickly. Ernie Accorsi doesn't draft someone who he calls the next John Elway to leave him on the bench for the entire year, especially when the Giants were awful anyway.

KentAllard said...

My favorite part of the PK column was how he used what happened in the Pro Bowl seemingly as part of his basis for the Fine Fifteen, then ripped it for being meaningless.

They should have let OchoCinco kick. A few years ago the highlight of the NHL All-Star game was the skills competition in which NHL stars tried to score goals while wearing funny hats. The final score of the hockey all-star game is usually something like 143-142.

Go said...

It was a poor Warner pass to Bruce in Super Bowl XXXIV.

The play starts around 6:20

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I didn't even think about the fact it would piss the Competition Committee off to move the KO back. Maybe they can discuss this will they are in a lockout and figure out a way to fix it.

Rich, I didn't even pay attention to the timeline with the Giants/Cardinals. I like Kurt Warner, but he was barely a backup in the NFL after 1999.

Kbilly, I am assuming Warner got his degree and I did have the timeline wrong with that. I always thought he bagged groceries immediately before he played for the Rams. I remember his fumble problems in New York and did he really think they would bench the #1 pick for him? It seems like he hadn't shown them that much at that point.

Rulebook, I can see the "donut" PK refers to his more of an injury issue than a performance issue. Possibly Warner should be seen as a guy who had some injuries that held him back, rather than a guy who had a bad performance during those years. So maybe my PED rant for him is off base a little bit. I still there is a PED problem in the NFL though.

I think Warner just got another chance with a great offense and he took advantage of it. There is really nothing wrong with that I guess.

Kent, I think I would be surprised if PK didn't rip the Pro Bowl as meaningless and then base his Fine Fifteen on parts of it. Whatever they can do to make the Pro Bowl more exciting, I am all for it.

Go, it wasn't a terrible pass, but it also wasn't a bomb that Bruce caught in stride either. I have always thought it was more of a great play by Bruce.